Thursday, October 27, 2016

Is Subcontracting Right For You?
One of the biggest issues for new resume writers is the "feast or famine" nature of the work. As you're working to get your own clients, you may consider working as a subcontract writer for another resume writer or a resume writing service (often referred to as the "contracting writer" or "contracting firm."

How do you know whether subcontracting is right for you? Here's some things to consider:

  • Are you self-motivated? You need to be the type of person who can get work done when it needs to be done. If you've been assigned a project and a deadline, it's up to you to decide when, where, and how to get it done.
  • How are you at managing your time? You'll need to estimate accurately how long any one resume will take you to write you -- and be able to do this with multiple clients. How will you handle things if you get your OWN resume client while you have three subcontract projects to write? Deadline management is critical as a subcontractor.
  • Can you work with different personalities? Whether you're a subcontract resume writer or not, you're not working with just one individual at a time. However, it's important that you get along well with your contracting writer (or your contact at the contracting firm). 
  • Do you have your own tools? I'm not talking about hammers and nails. You'll need a computer, Internet connection, and software (Microsoft Word). As a subcontract writer, you're responsible for supplying your own tools.
  • Can you pay your own benefits? Speaking of providing your own stuff, unless you're subcontracting on the side while you're still employed, you'll have to furnish your own benefits -- including health insurance. Of course, if you're already a self-employed resume writer, you knew this. (And you've been setting aside money for your quarterly estimated taxes too, I hope!)
  • Are you good with money? If you're not good at budgeting, being a subcontract writer might be difficult. For example, you may write 8 resumes this month for one contracting writer and receive a $1200 check. Should you spend all $1200 this month because you earned it this month? No. You should save some for taxes, savings, and for the slower months.
  • There's still feast or famine moments. Payment doesn't always come on time, like it does with a job. Even your contract writer may have slow times, so that makes it harder to budetyour money. If you can budget through the hard times and ride the wave, you'll make it as a subcontract resume writer.

Hopefully, this has given you some things to think about when it comes to becoming a subcontract writer. There's lots of other things to consider too, of course, like how to find a contracting writer or contract firm to work with.

I've got a resource that will help you with that too. Check out the"Making Money as a Resume Subcontractor" special report and directory of contracting writers.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Newsjacking the Presidential Election

In our "Feed the Media" series, Sean and I talked about newsjacking:

The term was coined by author David Meerman Scott.

Today, Adam Zajac of Vocamotive Inc., published a great example of how to newsjack the presidential election coverage -- tying his resume writing services into a current event.

He published "What To Do When Your Resume Needs a Little Work" on Buzzfeed. It features fictionalized resumes for presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Here's the one he wrote for Donald Trump:

© Copyright 2016, Adam Zajac, Vocamotive, Inc.

Here's the one he wrote for Hillary Clinton:

© Copyright 2016, Adam Zajac, Vocamotive, Inc.

He presented both samples as "WHAT NOT TO DO" -- which I think is smart, although I would have gone a step beyond the content and provided some editorial guidance that relates to WHY those are "don'ts" on the resumes -- for example, the dates on the education section, the lack of strong accomplishments, and the presence of the candidate's photos on the resumes.

What makes this article work:

  • He doesn't pick a side. He's equally hard on both candidates in the content of the resumes. This wouldn't work if he did it only to satirize Donald Trump, or if he only did Hillary Clinton's resume. In that case, you're only appealing to half your audience, AND you run the risk of alienating potential customers.
  • He picked the right time. The right time to newsjack is when the topic is at the top of everyone's mind. You don't float a story about lying on resumes unless there's a story in the news already about someone who lied on their resume. In the same vein, this close to the election is the perfect time to satirize the candidates' qualification.
  • It's funny. If you read the resumes, they're pretty spot-on in terms of their parody. He did his research and has the facts right (educational credentials) while making fun of some of their more controversial "qualifications."

The version of the article that is currently up on Buzzfeed is Adam's second attempt. Buzzfeed has a "user-submitted" section, and he originally published a version that included a flier that gave soon-to-be unemployed politicians a discount on their resume services. I thought this was brilliant (and could be the subject of its own article after the election), but you have to remember that the first part of "newsjacking" is news. It's self-promotional without being overly self-focused. You can still promote yourself as a resume writer (and draw attention to yourself/your resume writing business) but without directly selling your services. He had to remove the flier promoting his services in order for the article to be re-published.

Take note: This same concept could be used to create a parody resume for fictional characters, like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.

Or, remember, you can newsjack almost any employment-related topic. For more information about David Meerman Scott, check out the fifth edition of his book, "The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly."

David Meerman Scott also teaches a course on Newsjacking.

Friday, October 21, 2016

When I Read Headlines Like This, It Makes Me Mad

This kind of article makes me MAD. And it got over 78,000 views.

"Move Over Resume, You've Been Replaced."

What makes me SAD is that it's written by a well-respected individual in the careers industry. He's not a resume writer, though -- and, consequently, he has his own agenda.

And that's the problem with a lot of information that jobseekers are reading. It's written by people with an agenda. THAT in itself isn't an issue (EVERYONE has an agenda) ... but the problem is, the people being quoted most often about the job search are NOT resume writers. They're recruiters, they're professors, they work for the big career sites (CareerBuilder, for example), or they're selling something.

And that's fine. But OUR VOICE -- as resume writers -- is not being heard. There are only a handful of people in the careers industry who are speaking up for all of us, as resume writers. They're being quoted in the media about the resume as a tool to land interviews, as a guide for interviewers to uncover the value of the candidate, as a way for jobseekers to discover their worth prior to starting the job search process.

But we're being drowned out by louder voices -- many of them sharing misinformation (about one-page resume limits, the death of the resume, and wacky job search tactics) that are not only WRONG, but they're anecdotes of a job search without a resume. ("I don't need a resume -- I can put a QR code on a cupcake.") The truth is, the vast majority of successful job searches start with a well-written resume. But that story isn't being told.

Our colleague Michelle Aikman brought up this problem a few months ago on the NRWA E-List. Our industry has a "perception problem." We put our heads down and do our work and think that writing great resumes will bring us clients. It does. But we CONSTANTLY have to fight battles with clients about resume length, putting pronouns in the resume, and even PRICING because the information they're getting in the media isn't what WE want them to know. And we're dismissed by university career center personnel, recruiters, and others who we should be able to work with collaboratively, because they don't know what we do, and how we help jobseekers (and can help THEM in the process!).

The "Feed the Media" webinar series I did with my brother Sean is important because it addresses a NEED in our industry. We NEED to do a better job about telling OUR STORY -- how putting together a resume isn't just typing up information. It's about helping clients find THEIR VOICE in their job search. (That's what William was saying in his article, but he threw the resume under the bus in the process.)

The webinar series will teach you how to help tell YOUR story -- and our industry story -- in very practical ways. Even if you don't want to be one of the 10 most-quoted resume writers in the industry, we need you to speak up when you get the chance. Even if it's on a very small scale. It doesn't mean you have to appear on the local morning news (although I'll teach you how to do that, if you want to!). It's about being intentional about shaping the perception of our industry. About sharing information about how the work we're doing is putting people back to work.

What IS public relations? It's defined as "the professional maintenance of a favorable public image by a company or other organization or a famous person." No one is going to do this for us. We're not physicians, with the American Medical Association helping shape public perception. The vast majority of the professional associations in our industry are either volunteer-led or mostly run by volunteers. If we want to STOP the spread of misinformation, it has to START with us.

If you're tired of reading articles about "the resume is dead," and "you shouldn't pay someone to write your resume for you," check out my "Social Media Strategies" call.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Be a Servant Leader

One of the biggest mistakes new resume writers make is that they do a GREAT job with sharing content, information and resources when they start their business -- but as they get busier, that's the part of their to-do list that gets moved down to the bottom.

Content helps establish you as a thought leader and resource -- a "servant leader" in the careers space. If you don't establish yourself as an authority figure, no one is going to pay attention to you and you'll just be another resume writer that does what everyone else is doing. Originality is key to rising above others in the career services industry.

You have to keep some things in mind when figuring out how to serve your audience best. First, brand yourself in memorable ways. That means creating a name that will pop in your audience's head and stay there, including the headshot or logo that you use on all of your sites and products.

When visitors see that image, they will automatically know it's you. You have to be willing to put yourself out there -- no matter how critical you are of yourself -- your age, your teeth, your size -- no one cares. What they want is information.

Be original. Come up with unique angles to market your resume writing services. It doesn't have to be difficult.

It can be something as simple as sharing your day-to-day life with others so they can better relate to you. And it doesn't have to be extraordinary. I've mentioned this before, but one of the best things you can do as a resume writer is talk about the work you do with clients on Facebook -- WITHOUT using client names (or too much identifying information).

Be knowledgeable. Becoming an authority in the career services space is actually the best way to serve your audience. Make it a point to learn more than the average resume writer in your niche knows and solve problems and find solutions for your audience.

Get deep into your topic. Give yourself a thorough education in it. Read, take courses, pursue certification -- become the leader they need you to be.

Put yourself out there. Social media, blogs, forums and related sites are all good ways to make yourself known. And, make sure you don't just make an arbitrary comment like "me too."

Give advice, value, opinions and insights when you speak and people will listen and remember you. Don't be scared to stand out from the crowd. To blend in is what will make you mediocre.

Publish on Amazon. If you can put together an eBook for Kindle, it will boost your authority tenfold.

Avoid spamming at all cost, but make sure you release content or products on a regular basis. It takes time, planning and lots of research and forethought -- but if you really want to be the best, it will make a ton of difference because the smalltime players get paralyzed and lack consistency.

(Having a hard time coming up with content? Check out my Pass-Along Materials content.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

What Does "EVERYTHING" Include?

As you may know, I run a membership site for professional resume writers that provides them with done-for-you content they can use with jobseekers. I offer an "EVERYTHING" membership for new members (or those who may not have been a member since the very beginning). It unlocks the Pass-Along Materials "vault" with more than 50 content packages -- everything your jobseeking clients need to know to help them in their job search. One amazing thing about the EVERYTHING access is that you also get the Pass-Along Materials that aren't available for sale. And, you get access to all the Special Reports too, dating back to 2012.

Here's the full line-up (as of October 2016):
Getting Started With LinkedIn In Your Job Search
Jobseeker's Guide to References
Jobseeker's Guide to Salary Negotiation
Jobseeker's Guide to Online Reputation Management
What To Do Next With Your Resume
LinkedIn Resources Bundle
Jobseeker's Guide to Leaving Your Job
How to Give and Get LinkedIn Recommendations
Position Yourself to Get the Job
Jobseeker's Guide to Applicant Tracking Systems
Brag About It
Jobseeker's Guide to Working With Recruiters
Jobseeker's Guide to Networking Your Way to Your Next Job
Jobseeker's Guide to Virtual Interviews
Jobseeker's Guide to Understanding Employment Law
So, You Got Fired (Or You Think You're About To Get Fired)
Jobseeker's Guide to Developing a Brag Book
LinkedIn Profile Update Delivery Document
Jobseeker's Guide to Getting the Job Offer
Frequently-Asked Questions About Job Offers
Your 2014 Career Roadmap
Jobseeker's Guide to Avoid Getting Ripped Off or Scammed In Your Job Search
How to Answer Six Common Questions Jobseekers Ask Resume Writers
Jobseeker's Guide to Informational Interviews
Jobseeker's Guide to Connecting With a Hiring Manager
Jobseeker's Guide to Creating a 30-60-90 Day Plan
Client Management Forms
Jobseeker's Guide to a Confidential Job Search
What To Do When Your Job Search Isn't Working
What Do Jobseekers Need?
When to Hire a Reference Checking Service
Tweetable Tips
Social Media Audit for Jobseekers
The Social Job Search: Jobseeker's Guide to Developing a Social Media Plan
The Jobseeker's Guide to What To Do After the Job Interview
Jobseeker's Guide to Applicant Tracking Systems
LinkedIn Client Resources Bundle
How to Know When It's Time to Make a Job or Career Change
Developing Your Personal/Professional Development Plan (PDP)
Jobseeker's Guide to a Modern Job Search
Job Search Letters (Letters of Acceptance, Refusal, and Resignation)
Jobseeker's Guide to Cover Letters
Jobseeker's Guide to Comparing Job Offers

PLUS, these Pass-Along Materials content packages that are not available for purchase:
• Job Search Advice: 365+ Ready-to-Go Tweets and Facebook Posts
• The Jobseeker's Guide to Preparing for the Job Interview
• Career Checklists: 100 Tips for Success In Your Job Search
• Resume Critique Form/LinkedIn Critique Form
• Jobseeker's Guide to Working With Your Resume Writer
• Job Search Jump-Start 30-Day Challenge
• Positive Encouragement for Jobseekers -- Tweetable Tips
• Finding a Job During the Holidays AND 7 Things To Get Ready For Your Job Search
• Client Management Forms -- Prospect and Client Communication
• Why You Need a Resume
• LinkedIn 30-Day Challenge
• Client Frequently-Asked Questions
• 2016 Career Planner
• Managing Your Career Brand Ready-To-Go Workshop
• Career Checklists 2: 100 More Tips for Success In Your Job Search

Special Reports:
Resume Writer's Online Marketing Guidebook
Making Money Writing Ebooks
Introduction to Social Media in Your Resume Writing Business
Resume Writer's Guide to Article Marketing
Resume Writer's Guide to Profiting From Speaking: How to Use Teleseminars, Webinars, Workshops, and Seminars to Attract New Clients and Generate Revenue
Feed the Media: How to Get Free Publicity For Your Resume Writing Business
Capture Clients with Content: Use Information to Attract Resume Clients
Ready, Set, Goal: Business Planning and Goal Setting for Resume Writers
Securing Referrals: How to Get Other Resume Writers to Refer to You
Sell Your First Information Product in 72 Hours
Getting LinkedIn With New Resume Clients
There Is Only One of Me
Earning Six Figures as a Resume Writer
The Passive Income Project
Your Mindset Affects Your Money: How Attitude Can Amplify Your Income
Push Past Procrastination
15 Quick and Easy Ways to Get Resume Clients From Facebook
Do You Have a Book In You?
Brand Your Resume Business
Make Your Resume Business Better
Stand Out From The Crowd
Evernote for Everything: How Evernote Can Help You Manage Resume Client Projects, Remember Stuff, and Just Be More Efficient
Power Through Your Projects: Practical Strategies To Get Things Done
Attract Your Ideal Resume Client
Marketing Your Resume Clients With Stories
Writing Better Headlines for LinkedIn and Client Resumes
Membership Site Ideas for Resume Writers
Pricing Your Resume Services for Maximum Profit
Google Hangouts: Create Relationships, Cultivate Revenue, and Collect Referrals
Stepping Stones to Success: Taking Stock, Finding Your Focus, and Creating Your Action Plan
First Call Questions: Questions for Resume Writers to Ask Prospective Clients
What Should I Write About? Tips for Topics for Blog Posts, Articles, and Social Media Content for Resume Writers
Spring Clean Your Resume Business
Easy Ways to Boost Your Credibility As a Resume Writer
Three Systems for Six-Figure Success in Your Resume Writing Business
Follow Your Passion: Discover Your Purpose
Resume Writer's Guide to Selling Premium Packages
Best Year Ever
Telling The Story Of You
Connect With Clients Through Content
What To Write About On Your Website
So, You Want to Write a Book
Resume Writer's Guide to Getting Unstuck
Productivity Hacks for Resume Writers
Newsjack Your Way to New Clients

It's more than $1,000 in content that will help YOU and YOUR CLIENTS.

If you're interested in getting EVERYTHING, or have questions, email me!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

What Does Success Look Like?

I'm getting ready to launch the next session of the Get Clients Now program.

If you are struggling to succeed and missing the mark, the answer may lay in your strategic planning. You may not be looking at the big picture enough to understand the small things that go into succeeding on a project. Maybe you don't really understand proper planning and organizing yet.

What Does Success Look Like?
Have you really thought about what success looks like? Take the time right now to write down exactly what success looks like to you. Does it mean more money, more freedom, or something else entirely? There are no wrong answers, but if you don't have an answer and you don't know what constitutes success, it will be hard to feel as if you're successful. If you think about it, this is true for any project you are working on. What should the deliverable look like? Answer that and you have your starting point.

What Are the Steps Needed to Get to Success?
Can you pinpoint exactly the steps needed to reach success? Do you know how long it will take, how many hours each day you will need to focus on the steps needed to reach success? It's important that you can look at what the end result is supposed to be and work your way backward to the beginning to design the steps necessary to reach success. The big vision at the end starts with what you're going to do Monday morning at 9:00 a.m.

Do the Steps That It Takes to Reach Success
Once you've defined what success is, and designed the steps that will get you to success, now it's time to act on these steps and do them. No one gets to success without taking action. Action is the forward movement that will help you wind up at your destination. If you're spinning your wheels, you may be stuck in one of the planning phases. Move out of that planning phase and start acting.

Are the Steps You're Taking Creating Momentum?
It's also important to build in a few stops along the way toward your goals to evaluate how everything is going. Is what you're doing leading you to success? Are you getting some results that indicate that you're on the right track? If so, keep going. If not, re-evaluate if your plan is sufficient to move you toward the success that you need.

Is something missing that is crucial to getting to success, such as a skill that you need to take time out to learn? If so, you may need to add in time for learning, but don't trick yourself into thinking learning is action. It's not.

Defining success, planning based on the definition, then acting on the plan and putting into motion the steps necessary to achieve success, are all important components of moving behind the struggle to achieve success and finally experiencing success.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Are You Wasting Time?

© gpointstudio -

One thing that will ensure the failure of your business is wasted time. Don't confuse "wasted" time with the time it takes to renew your physical or mental power. That's important, too.

Exercise is good for both -- and you need it to keep yourself primed and ready for what's ahead. You know what you're doing to waste time -- it could be watching reruns on television for hours at a time, playing games with your friends online or on your smart phone -- or, as Jon says, wasting time on Facebook.

If you think your wasted minutes and hours are getting out of hand and causing a downturn in your business efforts (and it's time to be tough on yourself and honest about this), then it's time to rethink how you manage your time.

Good time management skills can set you on the right track for success. Without them, you can falter and all of your dreams for the future can wither and die. Here are some good time management tips to add to your daily routine, if you're ready to turn up the heat on your progress.

Put some pressure on yourself to get it in gear! Decide how much time you're going to spend on thoughts, conversations, and actions. You may want to monitor yourself for awhile by recording how much time you spend on the three categories of your day during working hours.

At the end of the week, you should know where (in which category) you're wasting the most amount of time. Don't fudge the numbers just so you can get away with more. You have to be tough on yourself to make progress.

Block distractions. Tricks like blocking email and Facebook alerts, turning off your phone and hanging a "do not disturbî"sign on your home office door can work wonders. Many resume writers use programs such as Facebook for business reasons, but when you're on the site, don't let yourself be distracted by anything other than business.

Set a time to begin work -- and stick to it. After you turn on your computer for work, give yourself a certain amount of time (5 minutes or so) to surf the 'net and review your email.

Then, switch to work and don't look back until you're finished. Going back and forth between email, Facebook and work muddles your mind and makes it more difficult to focus.

End your work at a set time. We all have times when our backs are against the wall and we have to spend more time meeting deadlines. But on an ordinary day, set a time to stop work and renew your physical and mental health.

If you have to work longer than the stop time, take frequent breaks, get up and walk around and do something to get your mind off work. You can't be chained to your business 24/7 -- even if you think you want to be -- it's just not beneficial for your success.

Distinguish busy work from working toward goals. Busy work can be a waste of time. You may be procrastinating because you're not ready to meet the goal or you're scared of failure if you do complete it. The best way to beat procrastination is to take action.

Don't coddle yourself by wasting precious time. Set some hard-and-fast rules of time management and stick to it. Think of yourself as an employee. Would you tolerate your paid worker surfing the Internet or playing a game app on his or her phone?

Of course not -- so don't allow yourself to do it, either!